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Cities Cuernavaca (Morelos)

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Cuernavaca is my favorite. That is if you are looking for an easy one day trip from Mexico City. The bus terminal is right in the centre of this small city with colonial houses, nice parks, churches and garden restaurants. It is usually a little warmer than Mexico City, the streets are calmer and the atmosphere is laid back. Many rich Mexicans bought houses or nice cottages in Cuernavaca to spend here weekends. Even Cortez liked it so much that he decided to build here a fortress (as always on the ruins of an old pyramid that he destroyed first).
What here:
Have a cup of coffee in a shade of one garden restaurants, check out Palacio de Cortéz (the fortress) that now works as a history museum. It is right on the square called Plaza de Armas in the mere centre of Cuernavaca. If you´re not into museums so much, try the beautiful Jardín Borda (Borda Gardens). You can find them 5 minutes from the centre on Avenida Morelos 271. Behind the walls of an old hacienda there are nicely kept gardens with fountains, a lake, ducks, exotic flowers and secret corners. Part of the building also serves as a small modern art gallery. It was built by José de la Borda, a rich man that gained money from mining silver and gold. Then, later, it became a summer house for the emperor Maximilian (a Habsburg that shortly governed Mexico). Count to spend here one hour, easily two. Avoid going Monday as it is officially the closing day. Sunday, the entrance is free.

There are also Botanical Gardens (Jardín Botánico y Museo de Medicina Tradicional) in Cuernavaca. You need to take a cab because they are situated in the south of the city in a quarter called Acapatzingo. In the times of Maximilian, it is said, these gardens were connected with gardens Borda through a long bush tunel. This way Maximilian could move and attend both, his wife (Borda Gardens) and his lover who lived in what are today Botanical Gardens. The entrance is free on Sundays.

If you decide to stay overnight in Cuernavaca, the next day you can get a bus to a nearby town Tepoztlán. It is said that Tepoztlán is full of magic energy and that is why nowdays it is packed with witches, new age magicians and hippies. Next to the town, stands a small rocky hill and on its top an old pyramid.

Even though, maybe a nicer and more complex pyramid would be a nearby Xochicalco.

Where to stay:

Hostería del Sol
My favorite place. Small colonial hotel with a garden and a pool. The rooms are spacious, colorful, well designed have Tv and balconies. The rooms upstairs have private bathroom, the 3 ones downstairs share two bathrooms that are right across the corridor. The hotel is located in the very centre of Cuernavaca, about ten minutes walk from the central bus station. Beware: there is one annoying thing though. Right from the other side a huge nightclub is literally glued on to the hotel! Which means that Friday, Saturday (and during vacations also Thursday) nights are a little bit noisy.
Price: 400 – 900 pesos for a room. Street Hidalgo 5, colonia Centro. Tel: (777) 318 3241
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Hotel Casa Colonial
Feel like getting spoiled? Well then this is the place. A beautiful hotel in a colonial building that used to be part of the convent is located right in front of the small central bus terminal. Some of its rooms are hidden in the garden, others are part of the main building and there is also one at the roof with a huge private sun deck. All rooms are uniquely decorated have tv and a fireplace! Some of the bathrooms have a bathtub. This is a place for a romantic night. Hotel also offers a nice garden, pool, restaurant, small conference hall and internet service. The prices are high but not exaggerated. Attention: Mario Ramírez, the hotel manager, promised to give you a discount if you refer to my name or this website. I would take his word for granted!
Price: 1200-2900 pesos for a room. Street Netzahuaicoyoti 37, colonia Centro. Tel: (777) 312 7033, hotel_casacolonial@hotmail.com, www.casacolonial.com
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How to get here: In Mexico City use the blue subway line all the way to Terminal Tasqueňa. From here direct buses (Pullman de Morelos) leave every 15 minutes for Cuernavaca (78 pesos). The journey takes a little more than one hour. There are two rutes to Cuernavaca, one using the highway, the other "por la libre". It is cheaper (42 pesos) but could take up to three hours to get there!